A Woman’s Story: Why I Like Feeling Ugly Sometimes

A Woman’s Story: Why I Like Feeling Ugly Sometimes

Inspirational Woman Of The Day: Germaine Greer

Inspirational Woman Of The Day: Germaine Greer

A Message From The Creator

A Message From The Creator

Inspiration Of Motherhood: Michelle Obama, Moms and the Media

Inspiration Of Motherhood: Michelle Obama, Moms and the Media

Inspiration Of Motherhood: Michelle Obama, Moms and the Media

Karin Kamp

Director of Digital Media, The Story Exchange

Both Michelle Obama and Ann Romney‘s celebrated convention speeches highlighted their role as mothers rather than using the moment to discuss the issues women face in the workplace, including the pay gap.

And the media seemed to largely ignore these issues as well, despite some moments from the conventions that could have clearly worked as news hooks.

“The decision was made that the mom message was what we would be hearing,” Joanne Lipman, journalist and former deputy managing editor of TheWall Street Journal told WNYC radio.

Ann Romney told the RNC that “It’s the moms of this nation — single, married, widowed — who really hold this country together,” while the first lady told the DNC her most important title is that of “mom-in-chief.”

Beyond Romney and Obama, both events focused on conventional ideas of women, and neither spent much time on women’s work issues. The major exception being Lilly Ledbetter’s speech on the Fair Pay Act that bears her name, which Michelle Obama did refer to in her address. That seemed like a good moment, for example, for the media to drill down on some of the issues facing women in the workplace.

Lipman says: “There was very little coverage by the media [on women and work issues]. One reason frankly, is there is still a gender a gap in the media, where you have men and women covering the issues but the men generally are still the ones either making the call or just drowning out the women by talking louder.”

The gender gap in the media is reflected in statistics compiled by the Women’s Media Center in it’s2012 report on the status of women in the media. Women made up 28% of TV news directors in 2008 and 18% in radio in 2011. The Media and Gender Monitor reported that, globally, 24 percent of news stories are about women.

Before joining the The Story Exchange, which covers women and their working lives, I worked for several major news organizations in television, radio and online — and having a bunch of friends that do as well — I can tell you that Lipman has got it right.

On many occasions I felt that me and my female colleagues had stories on women’s topics that we thought “must be told,” but found it difficult to convince our male superiors. So stories that we felt were important didn’t get covered and that was that. The guys in the room were calling the shots.

The tough part about this is pretty simple stuff. If the media isn’t reporting a problem, it’s much less likely to get solved.

And this is precisely why we need to get more stories about women’s issues out there. The hope is that at the next conventions, if the political parties chose to largely ignore issues related to working women, the media will know better and put them on the radar anyway.

Read More: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/karin-kamp/michelle-obama_b_1865355.html

A Message From The Creator

Inspirational Woman Of The Day: Germaine Greer

Brought up in Melbourne, Australia, Germaine Greer became attracted to radical anarchist philosophies which sought to challenge the perceived wisdom of the day. She was particularly attracted by radical feminist politics and her book – The Female Eunuch (1970) proved a pivotal book in the ‘post feminist’ literature of the 1970s. The Female Eunuch explores the idea of continual female oppression arguing that society seeks to impose certain norms onto women’s expected behaviour. In the book Germaine argues it is time for women to get angry again and pursue greater independence away from the social pressures that exist.

The Female Eunuch and Germaine Greer have been associated with the ‘bra burning movement’ because Germaine pointed out how restrictive and uncomfortable a 1960s bra could be.

“Bras are a ludicrous invention,” she wrote, “but if you make bralessness a rule, you’re just subjecting yourself to yet another repression.”

She has courted both praise and controversy. At one time she mentioned

“The more people we annoy, the more we know we’re doing it right.”

On various occasions she has been fined whilst giving speeches. For example, in New Zealand she was fined for swearing though this brought out a good deal of sympathy for her.

She studied in Newnham College Cambridge and during her time at University joined the Cambridge footlights which launched her into the London arts and social scene. She has worked for the London satirical magazine Private Eye and also in recent times has appeared several times on the hit BBC news satire programme Have I got news for you.

In the 1970s, she also developed an interest in art history. researching a book The Obstacle Race, the Fortunes of Women Painters and Their Work .

Politics of Germaine Greer

Germaine Greer is not associated with any particular political party. She describes her politics as an opposition to capitalism and hierarchical structure. It is a mixture of anarchism and Marxism, though she doesn’t place too much emphasis on labels and ideology.

She has frequently courted controversy in her home country of Australia. She wrote a critical piece aboutSteve Irwin saying that his death had shown the animal kingdom had taken its revenge. This created much controversy in Australia, though she stood by her statement.

She also once criticised Australia for being a sports-mad suburban wasteland devoid of intellectual stimulation. She was also critical of Australia’s relaxed attitude to the aboriginal population. Former Australian PM John Howard was dismissive of her comments.

She was also somewhat dismissive of Madonna the pop icon criticising her as being the future of feminism.link

“Madonna was a middle-class girl pretending to be tough, a religious girl pretending to be irreligious,:”

Read More: http://www.biographyonline.net/writers/germaine-greer.html

A Woman’s Story: Why I Like Feeling Ugly Sometimes

Kate Fridkis

Blogger, Eat The Damn Cake

Sometimes I think letting myself be ugly is one of my biggest accomplishments. Which makes it sound like I will most likely not go on to win the Nobel Prize at anything (hey, it remains to be seen — you never know).

As a kid, I thought that I was gorgeous, in part because girls were always gorgeous in books and movies, so I figured that was an important part of the whole girl thing. I figured that I was probably the real deal. Even little girls in books are often described as beautiful. Beautiful is a sizable part of being sweet. Of being saucy. Of being a girl sleuth. And of course, I could picture myself as a saucy girl sleuth, both with and without the floppy hat.

So it was a serious invasion, defeat and colonization of my entire identity when it occurred to me that I might not be beautiful after all, and later, when I realized with dawning horror that everything was definitely wrong with the way I looked.

The main problem with beauty for girls is that it gets conflated with just about every other good thing. Even the nerdy, smart girls we gratefully identify with in our favorite books get played by typically lovely actresses with shiny hair, slender limbs and delicate, even features. It’s OK to be endearingly dorky, as long as you can transform into an angelic vision of ideal femininity the moment you put on a prom dress!

We love it when beautiful, famous people tell us that they were an outcast, a dweeb, a rebel. Look at them now! It’s all so sweet and humanizing! They might even be people, too!

But what if you take the beauty out of the equation? What if the nerdy girl is truly awkward-looking? What if the spirited, impertinent girl is also very fat? What if the gentle, sensitive girl has a big, beaked nose and lots of acne? What if none of these characters have clear, pale skin, round eyes and hair that ranges between white blonde and shimmering chocolate brown?

Well, then that’s real life.

But so many of us go into it poorly prepared. We go into it hoping desperately to look like the girl who was made for a prom dress. We go into it panicking at our faces in the mirror, our alien bodies with their strange, maverick goals involving the sprouting of thick arm hair and the inappropriate placement of fat in areas where Taylor Swift would never dream of having any. We go into it already fighting a losing battle that will involve over-funded armies of cosmetics and a legion of too-expensive haircuts. We cling to eager, helpless belief resembling religiosity in the endless litany of rules concerning how we should and shouldn’t look. We put ourselves through the never-ending string of almost-diets and listen to the persistent, perfectly audible voice that presides over all things food-related that murmurs, “You shouldn’t have eaten that. You really shouldn’t have eaten that. Now you can’t eat anything tomorrow — if you have any self-respect.” And then, when you eat just as much the next day, it’s reading off this prepared speech about how your lack of self-control is obviously the reason why you suck so much, in general.

Ugh, what a prison being a girl can be.

What a colossal, constant trap.

I felt like I’d stolen the key off of one of the wardens, the day I looked in the mirror, felt massively unattractive and didn’t care.

The day they told me I needed another nose job. A third one, because he’d messed up the first and then the second hadn’t fixed it. The day the NYC surgeon in his glassed office overlooking the world told me that I was pretty enough anyway, but that it would really “help.” That I should sign up now. And I said no and then I left feeling utterly ugly and weirdly free. I walked fifty blocks, reveling in my freedom. I felt like I could walk anywhere. I am ugly, I thought. I have a big, ugly nose, and it doesn’t even matter. I am awesome.

We’re taught that these ideas are so essential: beauty, ugliness. They are the things that are supposed to be us. They feel so large sometimes that there isn’t room for the rest. Beauty, success. Ugliness, failure.

God, I’m thankful for the ugly days when I am busy with my life. When I catch a vaguely disappointing glimpse of myself in the subway window and keep feeling good anyway. When I look bad in everything I try on and I am in love with this chapter I’ve just written. When I am full of my own potential, and the promise of the rest of my life, the knowledge I’ll acquire, the sense that I’m making progress and, if anything, the clumsiness of my appearance is sort of compelling. I am a quirky, interesting woman. I look quirky and interesting, too. I have a nose that wouldn’t give in. I have a lot of other stuff going on.

It’s not just about beauty — it’s about letting yourself not care about beauty. It’s about being comfortable with the occasional ugly day. About taking the corrosive, toxic helplessness out of unattractiveness and replacing it with moving on. It’s about the fact that everyone has ugly days, where nothing looks right and it’s impossible to imagine that it ever did or ever will, but they don’t have to mean anything more than not looking good.

Because there are women detectives who aren’t ridiculously hot and there are nerdy girls who look awkward in a prom dress but kick ass at physics. And there is so much more to being alive than being pretty. All of it, actually. All of the rest of it. Adventures and passionate love and brilliant research and delicious food and the steady struggle and satisfaction of getting better at something, and impacting other people’s lives and creating something new and cool. Rollercoasters. Waterfalls. Those awesome old falling-apart globes that they sell at flea markets.

I am ugly, I thought, on my fiftieth block. I can be anything.
A version of this piece appeared originally on Eat the Damn Cake, along with lots of other pieces about being a woman these days, and failing to wear skinny jeans, ever.

Read More: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/kate-fridkis/feeling-ugly-benefits-body-image_b_1852182.html?utm_hp_ref=women&ir=Women

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